Brain-dead pregnant woman being kept alive for her baby

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by WESGATORS, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. WESGATORS
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    WESGATORS Moderator

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    I didn't see this discussed on here, but I was curious to get thoughts from both "Pro-" sides.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/wo...aby-against-her-wishes.-Welcome-to-Texas.html

    While I can't imagine being in this situation, I can't imagine anything other than thinking that my wife would have wanted me to bring the baby into the world if at all possible. Still, it shouldn't be up to the hospital to make decisions like this (who are they forcing to pay for the bill?).

    From the family's perspective, what is the significance of possession of the dead body (wife) without possession of the live body (baby)?

    The husband references his wife's wishes to not be kept on life support, but would she really oppose staying alive long enough to have a baby?

    Here's the catch:

    http://news.discovery.com/human/life/can-brain-dead-woman-give-birth-to-healthy-baby-140110.htm

    Thoughts?

    Go GATORS!
    ,WESGATORS
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  2. gatornana
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    gatornana Administrator

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    I stopped following this story.....way too creepy. It's like some sort of Frankensteinesque experiment.

    If she was later in her pregnancy, to try to bring the baby to term for birth is one thing, but this woman was only 14 weeks along. Not really mentioned or considered is what the state or hospital is going to put this baby through if it is born at 24 weeks.....pain, surgeries, handicaps, therapy, physical or sensory impairments.

    This poor mom is dead so insurance isn't covering this. If this is state mandated or the hospital has over reached in their interpretation of state law, then either taxpayers or the hospital should cover these medical expenses....but I doubt that'll happen and this poor dad with a toddler at home will be held responsible. If this baby makes it til 24 weeks, it'll be an extreme premmie with additional medical costs.

    When these sorts of decisions are taken from the spouse or other family members, then the entity, either the state or hospital, should pay the medical expenses and the cost of raising a handicapped child, should this child suffer disabilities.
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  3. WESGATORS
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    WESGATORS Moderator

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    That's an interesting point. I would imagine that states that require this should also require insurance companies to cover the baby from conception (or whenever the applicable preservation intervention applies) rather than from birth.

    Go GATORS!
    ,WESGATORS
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  4. HallGator
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    HallGator Administrator VIP Member

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    I had a policy holder years ago in the life insurance business that had a child rider attached to her policy which automatically covered new children. She had a baby that was born dead and they had to pay for the funeral out of their pocket. Companies normally wouldn't pay for a child unless they lived for around two days. I always felt really bad about it but there was nothing I could do.
  5. OklahomaGator
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    OklahomaGator Jedi Moderator VIP Member

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    I thought I heard the mom had stopped breathing for an extended period of time before she was revived so baby went without oxygen for same period. Doctors don't know effect on baby.
  6. demosthenes
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    demosthenes Well-Known Member

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    It will be interesting to follow. It may be a tad morbid but my wife and I both agreed she would be kept alive in a similar circumstance. Thankfully those contingencies were never needed.
  7. fastsix
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    fastsix Well-Known Member

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    Texas has turned her into an organic incubator.
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  8. Bushmaster
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    Bushmaster Well-Known Member

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    This is just sad, not political at all, just sad.
  9. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    It is sad and tragic, but I'd say its also politcal, given that the only reason she is being kept alive is because of a law relating to a pretty controversial political issue.
  10. tim85
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    tim85 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, this is kind of my reaction. I haven't even really developed a thought on what I think should be done here, just that I would never want to be in that situation.
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  11. gatornana
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    gatornana Administrator

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    In some states, if a pregnant woman is terminally ill, in a coma or dies, her advanced directive or living will is ignored or set aside so that she can be connected to life support to continue the pregnancy to term. Family has no choice in the matter.

    What it boils down to is when a woman is pregnant any advance directive or living will is unenforceable in the event of terminal illness or death. Upon pregnancy, a woman looses her right to having her wishes honored regarding being put on life support.

    http://www.centerwomenpolicy.org/pr...lProxyStatutesMeganGreeneandLeslieR.Wolfe.pdf
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  12. 96Gatorcise
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    96Gatorcise Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Jan 23, 2014
  13. Emmitto14050
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    Emmitto14050 Roxanne: Laser Pointer Hunter VIP Member

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    So in addition to the (lack of) insurance situation, I assume that neither insurance nor the state has plans to help financially with a child that may require monumental medical services? Does the law address the post-birth situation?
  14. Emmitto14050
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    Emmitto14050 Roxanne: Laser Pointer Hunter VIP Member

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    Those are the conflicting sections. The latter two are from section 166.039. There is no additional text to 166.049. Here's the whole law:

    http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/HS/htm/HS.166.htm

    Given that the definition includes "sustains the life of a patient", the hospital evidently agrees her life hasn't been sustained, and the section delegating authority to the husband/doctor, I can see the case that letting her go is not illegal.

    Then again, if the patient is viewed to be the baby, maybe so. Or if 166.049 is viewed to stand alone.

    I'd say this is either poorly considered wording or intentionally ambiguous for this very situation. Given the politics of it all, I'd probably not take my chances.

    Too bad it has led to this.
  15. fastsix
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    fastsix Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely disgusting that Texas is forcing this to happen.
  16. 96Gatorcise
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    96Gatorcise Well-Known Member

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    even the guy who helped write the law thinks it is being applied wrong in this case.

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/24/health/pregnant-brain-dead-woman-texas/index.html?hpt=hp_t1
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  17. Gatorrick22
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    Gatorrick22 Well-Known Member

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    As gross as it seems to many here, I wonder how this will turnout... if the baby is born healthy. I'm sure he/she will be adopted...
  18. GatorRade
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    GatorRade Well-Known Member

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    I'm guessing that the husband will get first say here. Terrible situation.
  19. Gatorrick22
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    Gatorrick22 Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I thought she was single, but you're right... it's just terrible.
  20. Emmitto14050
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    Emmitto14050 Roxanne: Laser Pointer Hunter VIP Member

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    Again, I'm not a lawyer, but I'm guessing that this takes everything except for the "stand alone interpretation" out of the mix:

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/24/health/pregnant-brain-dead-woman-texas/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

    Neither the mother nor the baby can be considered to be receiving "life-sustaining" treatment. So unless the court says that the pregnancy clause in the law stands alone, with no other qualifiers, then the family (husband) should have the power to make the decisions.

    The "stand alone" option would be a rather narrow reading, but that happens all the time. The law's tenor, to me, seems to be to empower patients and their families to have MORE control over their care. To read it that way is essentially saying they have NO power in this instance, and is in stark contrast to every other part of it. And that may very well have been the intention of the lawmakers (although we know that a person who helped to craft the bill says it isn't.) And if so, that's a really crappy way to legislate, IMO. But again, that happens all the time too.

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